by Jennifer Graber In 1930, historian William Warren Sweet wrote that the “conquest of the continent” was America’s greatest accomplishment and its churches’ “greatest achievement” involved “the extension of their work westward.” Drawing on Frederick Jackson Turner’s thesis about the importance (and closing) of the American frontier, Sweet’s classic and oft-read textbook identified westward movement […]
From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy, and his political recipes for self-emancipation, guided the project of Arab liberation. From the very beginning, Middle Eastern intellectuals considered Sartre’s ideas rich, meaningful and appropriate for their needs. Their goal was ambitious: the invention of a new type of Arab man and woman: sovereign, authentic, self-confident, self-sufficient, proud, willing to sacrifice and therefore, existentially free.
For generations, race studies scholars—historians and literary critics alike—believed that race and its pernicious spawn racism were modern-day phenomena only.
by A. G. Hopkins Whether commentators assert that the United States is resurgent or in decline, it is evident that the dominant mood today is one of considerable uncertainty about the standing and role of the “indispensable nation” in the world. The triumphalism of the 1990s has long faded; geopolitical strategy, lacking coherence and purpose, […]
By Jacqueline Jones The news headlines today tell an alarming if familiar story– of workers losing their jobs to machines, of the diminished power of labor unions, rising rates of economic inequality, and the inadequacy of the two-party system to address these issues in any meaningful way. The internet and other new electronic technologies might […]
As Mao used to say, “The revolution is not a dinner party.” Fidel Castro provided the corollary. “But the counterrevolution” he said, “is always more cruel.”
By Megan Raby At the end of 1960, near Cienfuegos, Cuba, on the Soledad estate of a U.S.-owned sugar company, the American Director and Cuban staff of Harvard’s Atkins Institution began packing up their scientific equipment. The Cuban Revolution had caught up with them. Director Ian Duncan Clement, his wife, Vivian, and lab technician Esperanza […]
by David Crew At the beginning of September 2017, construction workers in the major west German city of Frankfurt am Main uncovered a British “blockbuster” bomb dropped during World War Two. Nearly 60,000 residents were evacuated so that experts could defuse this huge bomb designed to destroy an entire street of houses. Unexploded bombs from […]
by Jeremi Suri The U.S. presidency is the most powerful office in the world, but it is set up to fail. And the power is the problem. Beginning as a small and uncertain position within a large and sprawling democracy, the presidency has grown over two centuries into a towering central command for global decisions […]
Almost as soon as people became human they went on the move and forced others to move to serve their own ends. Possibly even earlier, people began to tell stories. In the twentieth century, people all over the world told their stories about leaving home and going to live among strangers on film. How can these stories […]